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fpmonkee11 03-03-2013 01:25 PM

Pretty scared right now- possible melanoma? UPDATE: Good news!
 
So last fall, I had a mini-freakout about all of my moles. I counted over 60, many of which look quite irregular. They had not changed at all though, so I remained mostly calm.

I tried to make a derm appt, but with my dad's insurance (forgot to mention, I'm a 20 y.o. college student), we have to see the family practitioner first to get a referral. Well after I did that, we found out the derm will not see new patients on Fridays (the only weekday I am ever home from college). With all the factors that were working against me, after the family practitioner said everything looked okay, I abandoned my effort.

Fast forward to last night, when I decided to check a mole that I never get to see (hint: it's on lady parts). Well, it is pretty obviously darker, and maybe a little bit bigger. It does resemble some melanomas that I've seen pics of. It is not raised, does not itch or hurt, but seeing that change really freaked me out.

To top it all off, our family doctors changed, so the previous referral is not any good now. I must once again see our family dr, then get a referral for the derm. This will not likely happen in the one week I will be home for spring break.

I've made an appt for a mole check with my college's health center, and I'm hoping they can give me a referral or something. My dad's insurance is extremely picky, so I don't know what they will accept or not.

I am pretty terrified right now. I know this cancer does happen in young people, and it can be deadly. There is so much going on in my life right now, I'm not sure if I can handle this.

Any advice or anything at all would be welcome. I'm just really needing some reassurance right now. Thanks.

rouquinne 03-03-2013 02:23 PM

fp, whenever i find another spot of skin cancer (mine are basal cell), i always have a freak out thinking this time it will be melanoma (especially since my uncle was diagnosed with it last year).

remind yourself that melanoma almost always shows up on parts of the body exposed to the sun - it is extremely rare for it to show up anywhere else.

keep repeating the above as often as necessary.

when is your appointment?

you are stronger than you think; if this turns out to be something serious, you will be able to handle it.

another member here has been going through this, her screen name escapes me at the moment, if you do a search you will be able to find it. i don't recall if she's been around lately, but her last update was very positive.

let us know how you're doing.

fpmonkee11 03-03-2013 03:05 PM

Rouquinne -Thanks for your reply. Are you thinking of TRBL? I did read her thread, and it helped a bit.

What scares me is that the mole I have most resembles melanoma. It doesn't look at all like the other types of skin cancer.

Right now I'm hoping it is only precancerous if anything, or maybe stage 1. I do feel I have caught whatever it is pretty early, as it has not reached the size of a pencil eraser yet, and doesn't seem thick. I do have a tendency to think the worst, though, and this is really causing some bad anxiety. Is melanoma easily curable if caught early?

I have been on BC pills for the past few months, and I read that they can cause moles to appear/get darker. This doesn't quite calm me though, because even if they are changed by hormones, they can still be cancerous.

My appointment is tomorrow, and I'm hoping it will help. The health center here is not great according to most students, but the one time I went to the women's clinic, I found them very helpful.

rouquinne 03-03-2013 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fpmonkee11 (Post 2130012)
Are you thinking of TRBL?

yes, that's her.

Quote:

Is melanoma easily curable if caught early?
the information i've read says that it has above an 80% cure rate if caught at stage 1.

Quote:

My appointment is tomorrow, and I'm hoping it will help. The health center here is not great according to most students, but the one time I went to the women's clinic, I found them very helpful.
good luck, fp. come back and let us know what happens. keep reminding yourself that it is RARE that a cancer like this appears where one doesn't get sun exposure.

claudine19 03-03-2013 06:30 PM

I have many, many moles as well, although technically some of mine are lentigo. They're flat, and they're almost the same color as my hair (red). I also have a few cherry angiomas.

I've had moles that were larger than a pencil eraser, with uneven edges and darker on one side than the other, and still were not melanoma. It's important that you do get yours checked out, but there's a better chance that you're fine than that you're not, especially if melanoma doesn't run in your family, and, like rou said, the mole is not regularly exposed to the sun.

HTH, and let us know what happens.

curlypearl 03-03-2013 06:57 PM

Thinking of you fpmonkee. {{{fpmonkee}}}. I know how terrible anxiety can be but like Rou and C.19 said, there's an excellent chance that you are just fine.

You are being smart and getting it checked out early. All the facts are against it being mel.

Please post back as soon as you can. I will watch for updates. Sending e-vibes of strength and health to you.

fpmonkee11 03-03-2013 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by claudine19 (Post 2130085)
I've had moles that were larger than a pencil eraser, with uneven edges and darker on one side than the other, and still were not melanoma. It's important that you do get yours checked out, but there's a better chance that you're fine than that you're not, especially if melanoma doesn't run in your family, and, like rou said, the mole is not regularly exposed to the sun.

This helped me. I'm really trying to remind myself not to think the worst right now, but that's just the way I always think. Thank you.

By the way, both my grandparents on my mom's side had skin cancer, though I am not sure what type. Neither of my parents, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by curlypearl (Post 2130097)
Thinking of you fpmonkee. {{{fpmonkee}}}. I know how terrible anxiety can be but like Rou and C.19 said, there's an excellent chance that you are just fine.

You are being smart and getting it checked out early. All the facts are against it being mel.

Please post back as soon as you can. I will watch for updates. Sending e-vibes of strength and health to you.

Thank you so much. I really do appreciate that. I will definitely update after my appointment tomorrow.

fpmonkee11 03-04-2013 03:34 PM

Hey guys. So I went to my appointment with the college health center today, and it was pretty worthless. The Dr. looked at the mole in question, plus a few others, and pretty much just recommended that I see a dermatologist.

Buuuut... my dad managed to get me an appointment w/ a derm next Thursday while I am home! Since I never used my referral from last fall, it turns out I can still use that same one. I am very happy about that, and hopefully I won't have to wait long at all to figure out what is going on. I will update after my appointment next week, or sooner if something else happens.

Please keep your fingers crossed that everything turns out okay. I would really appreciate y'all's thoughts and prayers.
Thank you!

rouquinne 03-04-2013 03:50 PM

geez, fp, that's pretty sucky... :sad9:

i'm really happy to hear you can get in next week. i know it's not easy, but you have to try to keep your mind off worse case scenarios between now and then.

you know we're all here for you!

claudine19 03-04-2013 05:21 PM

Yes -- what rou said.

I'll be looking for your update next week.

curlypearl 03-04-2013 08:50 PM

Second what Rou and C19 said. Waiting is the worst - I'll be keeping you in T's & P's. We are all going to celebrate when we hear good news but just in case it isn't great, remember, you caught it very early and chances are excellent that all will be well. {{{fpmonkee}}}

fpmonkee11 03-04-2013 09:51 PM

You guys are so sweet. Thank y'all so much.

goldy 03-04-2013 09:55 PM

I had a mole change seemingly overnight once. It became larger, darker and irregularly shaped.

I was so scared. It was removed and turned out to be nothing. I worried the entire time. I know it's easier said than done but try to stay calm and relaxed.

sarah42 03-05-2013 12:21 PM

I'm sorry to hear the student health center was not helpful! I had a good experience seeing my university health center for a suspicious mole.

In college, I had a mole that I thought had gotten bigger. When I went to the student health center, they removed the mole and tested it, and it turned out to be nothing. I hope you have the same result when you see the derm.

ETA: I hope that didn't come across like, "Your student health center is a piece of crap!" I wanted to convey, "My student health center was great, and I was hoping yours would be too so you wouldn't have to keep feeling worried." :)

fpmonkee11 03-14-2013 08:42 PM

Hey guys!

I had my dermatologist appointment today, and it went great! I received nothing but good news, and the doctor said I had nothing to worry about, and probably will not ever develop melanoma. The mole in question is apparently a common thing that does not have anything to do with skin cancer. He did recommend that I go in for yearly checks and keep an eye on things, which I definitely plan to do.

Thank you guys so much for being supportive and easing my mind. I have been able to keep my mind off of things for the past week and stay relatively level-headed. Y'all really helped me a lot. :)

PerriP 03-14-2013 09:51 PM

Great news!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using CurlTalk App

curlypearl 03-14-2013 10:36 PM

Oh, how wonderful! I did think of you during the week and I'm so glad you posted back. Hurray!!!:blob2::blob2::blob2:Now go and treat yourself to something wonderful. Eat something yummy and spend a little money on yourself. You deserve a treat. :sunny: I'm going to enjoy something tomorrow in your honor. Maybe pizza with extra cheese. :thumbup:

rouquinne 03-14-2013 11:23 PM

oh, fp, i am SO happy for you!!!

*hugs*

fpmonkee11 03-14-2013 11:36 PM

Thank you! You all were so helpful and sweet. Thanks for making me feel better last week and now for making me smile. :)

goldencurly 03-15-2013 03:04 AM

I just saw this thread! Oh I am so happy that the mole is okay and that you are alright!!!

Be sure to set and keep that annual appointment every year to get looked at. My derm has me take pictures of moles that I am concerned about as well as as ones I'm not. You take a simple ruler and hold it next to the mole (it doesn't have to line up to measure it exactly even!) and take its photo. Then save the photo along with important info like date and location. So I have file names like "below collar bone 1-20-12". Then I can take another photo in a month, 6 months, etc., to compare and if I see any change, go see him sooner than once a year. So far, everything has been okay totally or one that was precancerous that I had frozen off yearly for 4 years and then it never came back. I have a scar there and I have to watch it too. And take its photo.

Again, I am so glad you are ok!!!


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